Iodine Deficiency – Symptoms & Diet Tips Unveiled

Iodine plays a significant role in giving us a healthy life. Our thyroid gland uses Iodine to make thyroid hormones that help in controlling growth, repairing damaged cells and boost healthy metabolism.

Deficiency of iodine can lead to ‘hypothyroidism’, goiter or even mental retardation in babies whose mothers had iodine deficiency when they were pregnant. Let’s educate ourselves here about the various symptoms that can show up due to lack of iodine in our body.

Symptoms of Iodine Deficiency

  • Swelling of the Neck
  • One of the most common symptoms of iodine deficiency is swelling of the neck/goiter. A person faces this problem if there is low supply of iodine to the body and thyroid gland forcefully tries to make thyroid hormones. If treatment is not administered to goiter for years, then it can cause permanent thyroid damage.

  • Unexpected Weight Gain
  • Unexpected weight gain can be caused due to lack of iodine to make thyroid hormones. Body’s metabolism (process which helps in converting food into energy and heat) is controlled by thyroid hormones and when a person’s thyroid hormones are low, his body burns lesser calories at rest and gives rise to fat.

  • Hair loss
  • Thyroid hormones play a key role in controlling the growth of hair follicles and if the levels of the thyroid hormones are low, then a person’s hair follicles may stop regenerating. The patient suffers from hair loss as a result.

  • Dry and flaky skin
  • Low thyroid hormone levels can cause dry and flaky skin as they hamper regeneration of skin cells and adequate sweating.

  • Memory and learning issues
  • Iodine deficiency also tends to affect a person’s ability to learn and remember. The facts found through a recent study are terrifying- experts who conducted this research say that lesser amount of thyroid hormones can reduce brain development. Hippocampus is the part of the brain that can be smaller in the people with iodine deficiency and they can have trouble with their memory.

  • Difficulties during pregnancy
  • A pregnant woman has to consume for herself as well as her growing baby. This gives rise to the demand of iodine for pregnant woman and this need continues as baby receives iodine through breast milk.

    Hence, if mother does not get sufficient intake of iodine during the pregnancy, then it can affect her and her child. In such situation, the symptoms of iodine deficiency in mother can be such as goiter, weakness and feeling cold. Also, a baby’s physical or brain growth may not be up to the mark.

  • Excellent Sources of Iodine
  • Eating right food is the most effective way of fulfilling iodine requirement of your body. Try the foods mentioned below to receive the accurate amount of iodine.

    • Tuna
    • Dried prunes
    • Seaweed
    • Cod
    • Shrimp
    • Egg
    • Yogurt
    • Iodized salt

    So, if you face any of these symptoms, then instantly get in touch with your health care provider and also consume the above-mentioned foods to get the required intake of iodine to lead a healthy life.

    Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors